Google Wave Invite for Sale

Last week, when Google started to send out 100.000 invites for the new service Google Wave, a lot of high profile bloggers, technology journalists or techies were disappointed they did not got one. Robert Scoble got one, probably the Wall Street Journal got one to make a few friends with the old economy newspapers, but you… you did not.

And what do you do if you want one to be cool and an early adopter, or even an innovator? Right, you try to get one through other means. And luckily we live in a society based on open, efficient market principles, where everybody wants to get a break. So selling your invite to Google Wave, even if it’s against the user terms and conditions, is a real option.

Google Swag And what better platform is there to sell your Google Wave invite, together maybe with some useless Google Swag, on eBay, the worlds global marketplace where you can sell practically anything. 

So a lot of Google Wave invites were put up for sale last week on eBay. According to policy, the holders of these invites were not allowed to sell the invite, both through the Google T’s & C’s, as for the eBay policies. From the Wall Street Journal piece:

…Mr. Blount said he received an automated message from eBay, saying that he was violating the site’s terms of service by trying to sell an item without owning the copyright….

Years ago, I too sold a couple of Gmail invites when the now popular email program from Google was still invite only. It was such a good play, selling something you got for free, unlimited invites in your early Gmail account, no shipping costs. Selling these invites for only $4 made them sell like crazy.

The keyword Google Wave was the keyword with the largest change on eBay. From 70 the week before, to 23,125 searches last week, it was clear Google Wave was of interest especially for journalists. Through linking to the search url, everybody clicking within a story or a blogpost contributed to the large number of searches for Google Wave.

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In the main search box, two related searches are being displayed as well. Seems the other two, Google Wave invite and Google Wave invitation are also popular.

Still there are a large number of Google Wave invites for sale on eBay, but the price has come down significant.

Most memorable tweet I saw flying bye the last couple of days was playing into the fact that you can only extract value out of Google Wave if your network also has an account. With just 100.000 invites sent out it will be hard to find your friends on Google Wave.

RT @onehappyguy: Google Wave first impression... feels like I own a fax machine but nobody else does... I can't fax anyone else.

eBay’s Lawn Chairs not Gone

There has been some conflicting reports regarding the eBay Lawn chairs. Apparently the San Jose Mercury News has reported that Meg was responsible for getting rid of the lounge chairs.

Job One was to become the company's grown-up. She replaced the lawn chairs with corporate cubicles.

Then the VentureCountyStar reports  that this same sentence has been used before:

…..I came across a line that stopped me in my tracks -- because I had written it before, about somebody else….

…I had paraphrased what Westly told me about one of his first acts when he was hired in 1997 as vice president of business development: "to order the office lawn chairs replaced with traditional furniture."….

….I consulted the bible on eBay history and mythology, Adam Cohen's book "The Perfect Store." Cohen puts the year of the lawn chairs' demise at 1997, but credits neither Westly nor Whitman. "(Founder Pierre) Omidyar and (president Jeffrey) Skoll decided that the time had come to replace the beach chairs and assembled desks with real furniture."

pierre-chairWell, let me tell you, the original Pierre lounge chair is still there, together with employee number 1. That’s right, everybody who read The Perfect Store will recognize the story that Pierre needed somebody to open up the envelopes, administer and collect the checks at the bank. He still works with eBay!

Ghostbusters Ecto-1

Ever wanted to know what it would feel like to drive the Ghostbusters Ecto-1? Remember the siren the car had?  It should be pretty funny for any Halloween party to gear up in a brown overall, with the Proton Packs on your back.

One of the Ecto-1’s from Universal Studio’s is auctioned off on eBay. Thee car didn’t sell, as the reserve price was too high. I guess due to the economy, collectors don’t have enough cash for these kind of expensive film props.

Ghostbusters Ecto-1

The description of the auction is not very detailed;

There is not a lot that can be said about this car once you see it you know what it is. This car was owned by Universal Studios as you can see by the copy of the title. This is the real Universal car not a copy.  The car runs and drives good it has new tires on it know. The car is in a car Museum right now, when it goes on tour it draws a VERY VERY LARGE crowd.

Still, would you buy it for at least more than $45,100 ?

Ghostbusters Ecto-1 on eBay, (via Laughing Squid)

eBay DevCon 2009

4 presentations in 2 weeks

I recently posted on my presentation on the Jane & Robot developers session last week, which was awesome. Today I had the fourth presentation in a more public setting in two weeks.

Two weeks ago I was sitting on a panel on the special In-House SEO day on SMX Advanced, then last week on Friday I presented some eBay SEO tricks on the Jane & Robot SEO developers day, yesterday I presented a SEO session on the ePN affiliate day, and today I was planned for a SEO session on eBay Dev Con 09. Pretty excited.

eBay-DevCon09

Finally I have arrived as a speaker at eBay Dev Con. I always wanted to speak on a developers conference. As I’m just getting my feet wet on the developers side, I was looking forward to all teh feedback people might have. And speaking in front of a crowd is always exciting, as you have the chance of getting valuable feedback on style, story and presentation.

I have some great friends who have put me here. I always enjoy catching up with them, and looking forward working even closer with them in the future.

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The Dev Con presentation went pretty well. I had to rewrite my whole presentation, as all teh slides are posted online as well. You can find my deck here: Dennis Goedegebuure on SEO eBay DevCon09.

Something I always wanted to do, is make a picture from the stage of the crowd in the audience. The picture below here was made before all the people were in the room. I was thinking of making it an integrated part of my story, but I only had 50 minutes for my talk, plus the Q&A!

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In the front was Richard, the eBayInkBlog blogger. It was great to have a friend in the front who I could pick on. Always helpful to have friendly faces in the audience. Richard was also tweeting live from my session. Some more tweets were pretty positive:

Twitter feedback

For the rest of the day I’m going to enjoy eBay Dev Con, as I won’t be here tomorrow. The beer bash has already started, so I better grab a beer, and start talking with all the wonderful people here and hear their horror coding stories. This post will be updated later on with more pictures and content.

Just make sure you follow the tweets from Richard @ebayinkblog or the hashtag #ebaydevcon, or read the follow up on eBayInkBlog.

Twitter-stream-eBay-DevCon09

eBay DevCon 09 Beer Bash

No Dutch beer on the Beer Bash, which is my “only” complaint for the organization. Delyn did a fantastic job! There were a lot of different countries represented with both food and beer. Local beer from

  • Japan, Sapporo;
  • Australia; Fosters;
  • Germany; Heifenweisser;
  • Mexico; Tecate;

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Mini hamburgers from California

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At least the Dutch provided the ice cream, with a lot of LOL. Ok, only the ice cream cart is from Ola…a Dutch brand.

eBay-DevCon09-icecream

Freshly made sushi

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And some old and current colleagues

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Cheese, Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream, and German sausages…

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Hopefully I can present next year again on eBay Dev Con, and stay all days.

Update: There is a good short write up on my presentation on the eBay developers blog by Ashish Kumar:

Search Engine Optimization Presented by Dennis Goedegebuure, SEO Manager, eBay, dennis.goedegebuure@ebay.com.
Dennis Goedegebuure, head of the Natural search Engine team at eBay gave us a great presentation on SEO, its trends and Best practices . A few important points to remember from this presentation are:

  • What is SEO - One of the way to get free traffic, more visitors, downloads, transaction and be successful.
  • How do search engines work - Do best so that Search Crawlers sees you. Good extractable link structure and content, text only versions of the pages are the Key to your success!
  • Ranking factors - L..U..M..P..S is the SEO mantra which stands for Links, URL, Meta Content, Page content and Site maps in your website. Links to discover to your website, Meaningful URLs, Keywords in the URL, Avoid long URLs, Description and keywors in the meta tag, Contents in HTML, ALT text, Relevant text around the images are some of the key factors.
  • Free Tools - Submit Search Engine Web Tools using Google webmaster Tools: www.google.com/webmasters/, Yahoo Site Explorer: siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com, Bing Webmaster Center: www.bing.com/webmaster See how search engines crawl your site by using Web Developer Toolbar and Keyword Research Tools Google Insight for,Search, Free keyword tool.

And also some initial feedback:

Overall this was a great session ! With almost full attendance, Dennis made this session very interesting and interactive. Good questions were asked during the session and it was answered well by Dennis. I saw lot of attendees surrounding Dennis outside the Fireside ABC meeting room and showing interest even after the session ended. I am glad that i attended this session.

New York Times of 21st January

Did you save the newspaper of 21st January 2009? This was the day that Obama became President of the United States. If you did not saved a mint condition newspaper of this historical day, no sweat, you can still buy these on eBay!

I bought two mint condition issues of 21st January of The New York Times. And while the NYtimes is selling these for over $25 a piece, I managed to get two for only $5.06.

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So what shall I do with the one I have double?

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Unopened Case of Michael Phelps Kellogg’s Corn Cereal

Anybody want to buy my Unopened Case of Michael Phelps Kellogg's Corn Flakes box? Oh did I say these are in MINT condition!

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Poor Michael, he was the hero, now he is coming across as the looser. If only the photo was not printed, if only the photographer had not made the picture, if only...

Now, dry the tears, back to business. You can buy your collectors Unopened Case of Michael Phelps Kellogg's Corn Flakes on eBay lower than a new box of Kellogg's Flakes at Safeway now.

Rush, because the ultimate date these flakes can be eaten is coming rapidly!

I specifically like the almost last paragraph from a New York Times article:

Like it or not, by winning eight gold medals, Phelps automatically became a role model by virtue of being sent out there as a highly paid spokesman for multinational corporations. We like our sporting heroes to be perfect, but it’s hard to be perfect in the 24-hour electronic buzz where everybody is a blogger and has a cellphone camera within reach.

Zimbabwe Dollar worth something on eBay

The inflation in Zimbabwe is getting out of hand. Every day the prices are doubling, and the new notes, a bank note of 10 billion Zimbabwe dollars, is already worthless.

Unless you sell the note on eBay! The auction for a 100 billion dollar note is at a price of $5.69. Collectible bank note until Robert Mugabe is leaving office. After that it probably will get more in value.

Do you want to become a billionaire? Buy a 100 billion Zimbabwe dollars

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Seasonal Trends in Keywords

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